Spring has arrived! Thank goodness Mother Nature has finally put us on defrost, at least for a moment. Let’s lean in with a spirit of renewal and an anticipation of brighter days!
As we make April plans, I want to invite each of you, along with your guests, to attend the next TEMPO Madison leadership series event on April 22nd – How to Elevate and Be Elevated. We have a panel of C-suite women, along with our moderator, who will share how mentorship (advising) and sponsorship (advocating) have elevated their careers while helping others along the way. As we all know, we have not arrived where we are on talent alone. For many of us, it took that one person who genuinely believed in you and invested quality time and effort in the advancement and achievement of your career goals.
Regardless of where you stand on the organizational ladder or in running your own business, it is essential to have a strong support system beyond family and friends. For more women to achieve upward mobility and advance their career aspirations, mentoring matters and sponsorship is critical.
After several years in Madison, working in a predominately white, middle-aged (some much older) male environment, I finally landed a mentor. She offered guidance on my professional goals and connected me with influential leaders in the local community. Most importantly, she understood the challenges of being a Black female executive administrator in a male-dominated, top-ranked business school. Thanks in part to our relationship, I have thrived as an academic administrator, community leader, and volunteer. I am passionate about paying it forward – mentoring and sponsoring other women, building a roadmap, and being a voice for the advancement of women.
An equally important role is sponsorship. Sponsors are the individuals who already have a seat at the table, who serve as our representatives, agents, and advocates. It is not enough to have a mentor. Mentors are not always in the position to support you in securing a promotion or pay raise, but sponsors can make it happen. They are your personal agent who will speak on your behalf. If you are fortunate, your mentor and sponsor may even be one and the same person. If so, what a gift!
I hope you will join me at the leadership series to learn more about these essential career networks.
Leslie M. Petty
President, TEMPO Madison
Fatou Ceesay, Cairasu Home Care
Have you checked out our podcast, SuperAgers? Join me to explore healthy aging, amplifying caregiver voices, and raising Alzheimer's awareness. This podcast strives to organically give voice to caregivers, raise awareness about aging issues including dementia, and promote healthy aging. Interviews are conducted with experts in the health and aging industry and caregivers to help educate our community about healthy lifestyles, aging issues, and caregiver experiences and strategies.
Check out our latest episode:
Interview with Jean Ketcham
In this episode, I had a pleasure to interview Ms. Jean Ketcham, the CEO and founder of ‘Aging But DANGEROUS!’, an internationally acclaimed movement of women 50-plus, living life to the fullest, redefining aging, having fun and looking good. Since 2008, Aging But Dangerous has provided women a community for positivity, education, and adventure: from colonoscopy parties, to fashion shows with older adults in mind, to skydiving outings!
Known for her style and encouragement, Ms. Ketcham’s Aging But Dangerous movement has garnered an international fanbase of more than 125,000 people from 50 countries. Tune in for a treat to our conservation
Sharon Brantmeier, Eventus Wealth
Sharon Brantmeier was named to the 2021 Forbes "Best-in-State Wealth Advisors" list. Female advisors on the list in 2021 accounted for 15.3% of those ranked, up from 13.8% the previous year.
Theola Carter, Manager of Policy and Program Improvement, the Tamara D. Grigsby Office for Equity and Inclusion (OEI) Department
On Friday, February 19, Theola had the honor and privilege of portraying Mary McLeod Bethune at the 3rd Annual Black Education Conference. Mary McLeod Bethune was a civil and women's rights advocate and a strong education proponent. She was the founder of Bethune Cookman College and HBCU located in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Eve Galanter, Wisconsin Newspaper Association Foundation Board
Eve Galanter was interviewed by the Wisconsin State Journal and Isthmus about the newly-created editorial writing and editorial cartoon contests offered under the Wisconsin Civics Games umbrella. Middle and high school students can submit content through May 15.
Roberta Gassman, Honorary Fellow and retired Senior Fellow faculty member of the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Social Work.
Roberta Gassman has been elected chair of the Madison Community Foundation Board of Governors which works, with its staff, donors and partners, to invest and leverage its resources to enhance the Madison region through philanthropy and grantmaking in priority areas including Covid recovery, particularly for the most vulnerable, diversity, children and youth, the environment, the arts, community development and non-profit capacity building.
Frances Huntley-Cooper, Program Chair, NAACP ACT-SO
Frances Huntley-Cooper is being featured as part of the "Elevating Equity in Policymaking" series at the UW-Madison La Follette School of Public Policy on April 9. She will discuss her distinguish public service career with students in a moderated conversation.
Martha Sullivan, Founder & President, Provenance Hill Consulting, LLC
Martha Sullivan reflects on the balance family businesses work to find between being a family first family or business first family in her article in Forbes Magazine regarding the Royal Family.
March is Women's History Month. Let's keep it real – one month out of the year should not be the only time we acknowledge women's achievements in our society. Although, for many, it's the only time they pause to think about the role of women and the sacrifices they made to help shape our future. Nevertheless, this is an opportunity to celebrate the generations of women who have influenced and enriched our nation and community.
Encapsulating briefly, the recognition of Women's History Month started in 1978 by a K - 12 Education Task Force as a weeklong event in Sonoma, California. Following these events and subsequent explorations, President Jimmy Carter established National Women's History Week on March 8, 1980. Seven years later, in 1987, Congress acted to make that week a full month.
To that end, it's befitting to acknowledge the three trailblazers who started TEMPO Madison in 1980. These pioneers are Boo Henderson, Sue Riordan, and Barb Miller. Their vision was to create an organization that would break down barriers and connect women in executive roles with a common interest in the Madison region. Clearly, all three founders understood the essence of sustaining viable communities by bolstering the leadership of qualified and talented women.
When creating a community that focuses on empowerment to inspire, encourage, sponsor, and advocate, inherently, we find ourselves inching closer to accomplishing our goals. Research in the Harvard Business Review found that women who have an inner circle of close female contacts are more likely to land executive positions with greater authority and higher pay. Interestingly, the study did not find the same success for men as it relates to the gender composition of their inner circles. This illustrates that women professionally advance when we make meaningful connections based on shared interests and goals.
In honor of Women's History Month, I dedicate and celebrate the founders and members of TEMPO Madison because you amplify your voice for those without one, foster inclusive leadership, remain confident amid adversity, and take your seat at the table with unapologetic authenticity. Most of all, you never let others decide your destiny or define your success.
Cheers to the remarkable and amazing TEMPO Madison Women!
TEMPO Madison President
2013 Betty von Rutenberg Scholarship recipient Marcella Prince has provided the following update to TEMPO Madison. Marcella is currently working on her PhD at Queen’s University Belfast.
I attended the University of Minnesota – Morris (2013-2017) where I earned an English (Creative Writing emphasis) major and a Political Science minor, and graduated with honours. While attending Morris, I was an active member of their MPIRG chapter and even served as the state board secretary. I also was on the organising board of the Prairie Gate Literary Festival, Chair of the Poetry Club, and worked on several projects as a student employee at the Center for Small Towns (a non-profit attached to the university that serves schools, community governments and non-profits in towns with a population of 5,000 people or fewer).
Through my work at the Centre for Small Towns, I became an intern at the Upper Minnesota Valley Regional Development Commission (UMVRDC) in Appleton, Minnesota. By the winter of my last year of undergrad, I had secured a job as the Communications Assistant at the UMVRDC and I worked there for a year after graduation, until I earned a place at the Poetry MA program at Queen’s University Belfast (QUB).
So then in 2018 I moved to Belfast to complete the degree, during which I won a Ireland Chair of Poetry Student Award (2019) and was published in The Tangerine and The Open Ear as well as featured in a handful of readings, including the Writing Home reading at the London Irish Centre. Additionally, I was commissioned by an architectural firm in Belfast to write poems about the city, which were then featured at an event at the Crescent Arts Centre put on by the Queen’s Seamus Heaney Centre.
After completing the Master’s I decided to stay and apply for my English (Creative Writing) PhD at QUB. I am studying Midwestern landscape poetry and writing a collection of poems about Appleton, Minnesota. Since starting my PhD in March 2020, I’ve had three poems published in The Lonely Crowd, and have been co-editor of the anthology Hold Open the Door, published in December 2020 by UCD Press and forthcoming from UChicago Press.
After completing my PhD, I will to stay in Belfast and look for work in publishing, academia, and the arts. Belfast has really become a home to me. I am engaged and hope to get married once my PhD is finished and I have more time to plan with my fiancé.
I know it’s been 7 years, but winning the Betty von Rutenberg scholarship really has helped me not only financially with completing my undergraduate degree, but was and continues to be a source of confidence for me. Applying for the scholarship, I didn’t think I would get it. I wasn’t planning on becoming the kind of entrepreneur that teenage-me thought that the panel would be looking for, so winning really meant a lot to me. It reminded me that I am a smart, driven, and capable young woman, and that I shouldn’t underestimate myself.
Happy Black History Month! African Americans have celebrated traditionally and proudly the life, legacy, and achievements of our Black Heritage in the month of February since 1976. Yet, we can all agree that it's every day of our lives to commemorate the courageous trailblazers who tirelessly paved the way for a better and equitable world for all.
The earlier U.S. women's rights movement often overlooked the contributions of African American women. Nevertheless, they played a pivotal role in helping to confront the fight for equal rights across all spectrums in the nation. Prior to the women’s rights movement, one of our historical icons, Harriet Tubman affirmed: "you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world." As such, the authentic deep passion of African American women gave voice for change in the past leading to the present.
In this month's issue, TEMPO Madison is proud to highlight the legendary Black women in our community, who shattered glass ceilings and continued to be visionary in a world that often thinks otherwise. We are shining a long-overdue spotlight on the African American women who became first in the Madison region. Their work and contributions span across education, business, health care, government/politics, non-profits, arts, retail, media, entrepreneurship, and beyond. Please note that the following list is not complete, but a great start to illustrating where we have been and where we are today.
1839: An unidentified African American female became the first Black resident of Madison (She was a servant to a hotel owner)
1915: Amanda Carmichael (and spouse John Hill) opened Madison’s first black-owned business (grocery store)
1950: Velma Bell Hamilton was the first full-time African American educator hired at Madison Vocational & Adult School (Known as Madison College) and Hamilton Middle School is named in her honor (1993)
1952: Vel Philips was the first Black woman to earn her law degree from the UW-Madison Law School, first to win a seat on Milwaukee City Council, first to become a judge, and WI Secretary of State.
1962: Geraldine Bernard is the Black female teacher hired by MMSD.
1964: Fannie Frazier Hicklin was the First African American Professor at UW - Whitewater
1970: Barbara Nichols became the first President of Wisconsin Nurses Association, first Black to be elected in its 150 years; former TEMPO Madison member
1972: Charlene Harris-Lode became the first Black woman news anchor on local television (anchor for Channel 15 WNTV news)
1973: Betty Latimer, later known as Milele Chikasa Anana was elected as the first African American woman to serve on the Madison Metropolitan School Board
1983: Darlene Hancock was the first African American woman principal in the MMSD (Glenn Stephens Elementary)
1990: Katherine Marie Jackson, Madison’s first Black woman firefighter
1991: Frances Huntley-Cooper the first Black mayor (Fitchburg) in Wisconsin. 2001/02: The first Black President of TEMPO Madison
1994: Marion F. Brown, first Black Vice President of Development at UW-Madison Foundation
2004: Gloria Ladson-Billings, first African American woman to earn tenure in the School of Education at UW-Madison
2010: Fabu Phillis Carter is Madison’s first Black Poet Laureate
2015: Barbara H. McKinney and Sheri Carter became the first Black women Alders in Madison. Carter is serving as the first Black female Council President (2020-21)
2016: Corinda Rainey-Moore is the first African American woman to serve as Board Chair of the National Alliance on Mental Health of Dane County, Safe Communities and Leadership Wisconsin
2017: Angela Byars-Winston becomes the first African American woman full professor in the UW School of Medicine and Public Health
2017: Vanessa Rae McDowell became the first Black woman CEO of the YWCA of Dane County (The organization has existed for 109 years before she shattered this glass ceiling)
2018: Jasmine Zapata, MD, MPH has become the first Black woman to graduate dual degrees in UW-Madison Preventative Medicine and Public Health Residency Program at UW-Madison
2019: Enid V. Glenn, first Black woman to chair Madison Community Foundation
2020: Nia Trammell, the first African American woman judge to serve outside of Milwaukee County and the sixth Black woman to serve as a judge in Wisconsin and also a TEMPO Madison member
And leading up to our reflections of Black History Month 2021, we celebrate Kamala D. Harris, our first Black and Asian American woman elected to the U.S. vice presidency. Another historical first – Amanda Gorman, the youngest Black woman to serve as the 2021 Inaugural Poet, mesmerized the nation with her poignant address – “The Hill We Climb.”
As noted above, the first Black female leaders are an inspiration no matter our ethnicity or heritage. They opened doors to opportunities that would still be closed if it were not for their passion and fervor to reach for the stars. As a Black leader in the Madison community, it’s an honor to beam the light on extraordinary women who serve as an example for each of us to make a difference throughout the month of February and always.
Leslie Petty, President
Planning is underway for TEMPO Madison's 40th Anniversary Celebration! The planning committee is brainstorming theme ideas around the ruby stone, which is often associated with 40th anniversaries. Rubies signify love, energy, passion, power and a zest for life.
Our goal is to spend the entire year, starting in the Fall of 2021, honoring TEMPO Madison's past, celebrating our present and looking to the future. While no dates have been solidified – we are working hard on lining up some wonderful speakers for our signature events, here is a general timeline of what to expect:
October 2021—virtual kick-off event
October 2022—in-person gala
An undertaking of this magnitude cannot be solely accomplished by our committee. We’ll need help and resources from our members, connections and the outside community. As we firm up our events and speakers there will be sponsorship opportunities. If you’d like to get involved, please consider joining our committee. We have a virtual meeting every third Friday of the month from 11:00 AM to noon. Questions, comments and suggestions are always welcome! Please contact Committee Chair, Elaine Rich at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In today’s busy, fast-moving workplace, there seems to be less time to network outside of our circle. Building business relationships is one of the best resources for your career development and professional success. A strong network can result in job prospects, opportunities for advancements, and personal growth. TEMPO Madison’s core mission is to lead, engage, and connect. We pride ourselves on cultivating meaningful and lasting relationships across professions and industries.
TEMPO Madison President Leslie Petty challenged everyone to contact at least one other member for a 30-minute coffee/tea chat.
This is a great opportunity to begin using the online directory and to build your network, either professionally or personally. LinkedIn is another platform to make connections.
As we begin a New Year, invest in your greatest asset – you!
We made it - 2021 is finally here! In celebrating this new beginning, I must first thank each of you for extending hope and inspiration when our spirits were tested due to the shock waves caused by COVID-19.
Think back to January 2020; we had no clue what was in store for us. Though it's uncanny how life takes us in any number of directions every year, we would never have imagined the events of 2020. Looking into the rearview mirror of all that happened in the past 12 months, the most significant impact was the tremendous shift in our personal lives and the way we conducted business.
Without notice, most of us had to adapt quickly to a virtual work environment and navigate uncharted business challenges while balancing child care and homeschooling. Then there were those of us caring for elderly parents, spouses, and other loved ones. No matter the situation, we especially were cognizant of making every effort to keep up with the COVID safety protocols. Yet it was through these rough patches that we were at our strongest.
In addition to the unthinkable challenges caused by the pandemic, we continue to bear witness to social injustice and discrimination towards Blacks, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), and LGBTQ+. We know these inappropriate actions affect and diminish all of us. Hence, it is our leadership role that will enable us to make a difference in the community or workplace by changing policies and shifting the culture to become more inclusive and diverse. This also ensures equity across all spectrums.
Former First Lady Michelle Obama once said, "There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish." I am entering this new year with gratitude for all we have accomplished amid extraordinary circumstances. Programs and projects could not occur without TEMPO Madison, TEMPO Foundation leadership, Past President Shana Lewis, and our members.
Due to their hard work and dedication, we hired a new executive administrator, Erin Fabrizius. Erin started in April, and her initial luncheon experience was the first time we delivered a monthly luncheon via Zoom. Social distancing mandates required us to reimagine the way we network and connect with our members. As such, we did not allow the distance to separate us and continue soldiering on with successful programming and networking opportunities.
For the first time, TEMPOShares was held virtually, raising $5,700 towards scholarship funds. Membership remained strong and welcomed exceptional new members to our roster. Project REACH continued its initiative to assist members in serving on business boards. And, last, certainly not least, Vice President Elaine Rich, along with the planning committee, has started working on the 40th Anniversary.
Though much of 2021 will require the same diligence in overcoming the pandemic, our hope in the greater good and the collective power of talented women coming together shall propel us forward into a new year as "Ambassadors for Change." May we continue being of service to those in need, open to taking risks, lead with vision and empathy, and live a well-balanced life in pursuit of peace, happiness, and prosperity.
Cheers to new beginnings!
It’s official – the holiday season is underway and 2020 is coming to a close. Since this is a busy time of year with an already demanding schedule, let’s stay grounded and remain focused on the important things in life. Family and health are among the top priorities, and equally important is self-care. Looking out and taking care of ourselves is a return on investment (ROI) and a gift that keeps on giving.
It’s not every day that we consider ROI on a personal level, similar to how the business world measures their investments’ performance. Self ROI offers the same benefits as well as long-term rewards. Warren Buffet once said, “You will never get a better return in life than when you truly invest in yourself.” Some economists strongly believe investing in yourself builds human capital in our society.
The challenges brought upon us due to the pandemic may have caused us to pause on prioritizing ourselves. As leaders, we should continuously look for ways to become our better selves. No one will certainly do it on our behalf; it’s up to us to make it happen on our own. In the landscape of virtual meetings, programs, conferences, shopping, etc., almost anything is achievable if we put our minds to it.
Here are 10 suggestions to invest in yourself:
1) Professional development training/continuing education courses and workshops;
2) Manage and diversify your earnings and invest;
3) Healthy eating, mindfulness mediation, and exercise;
4) Sleep 7-8 hours;
5) Create a bucket list;
6) Learn a new skill, language, or hobby;
7) Expand your network of business associates and friends;
8) Be a mentor/ally or find one;
9) Manage your social media profile and professional brand; and
10) Community service/philanthropy.
These are some examples as the list of options is endless.
As a holiday present to yourself, especially in the new year, think about the gift of self-investment. You deserve to put yourself at the front of the line and take care of #1 because our strongest asset at TEMPO Madison is the beautiful, talented, and brilliant women who continuously invest in their personal and professional growth as well as each other.
Here’s wishing you a safe and happy holiday and a new year rich with prosperity and joy.
With warm regards,
In conjunction with Project Reach, TEMPO Madison Past President and Project Reach Steering Committee member Shana Lewis had the opportunity to interview Michelle about her journey to this new corporate/business board position.
About Michelle Behnke, Elected to Capitol Bank’s Board of Directors September 2020
In September 2020, TEMPO Madison member Michelle Behnke was elected to the Board of Directors for Capitol Bank, a community bank serving the Madison, Wisconsin community.
Michelle is the principal of Michelle Behnke & Associates in Madison, a legal firm specializing in business law, real estate law, and estate planning services. She earned her undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and University of Wisconsin Law School, respectively.
Michelle has spent her career giving back to the community through board positions and volunteerism. She served as President and Treasurer of the State Bar of Wisconsin, as well as Treasurer and Board of Governors members for the American Bar Association. Michelle previously served on the Boards for the SSM Healthcare of Wisconsin, Inc., the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce, and Madison Community Development Corporation.
Michelle joined TEMPO Madison in part due to the Project REACH, our initiative to educate, network, and position women for corporate/business boards. She is passionate about encouraging women to see themselves as suitable candidates for corporate and business board positions.
Michelle recognizes that most corporate and business boards fill vacancies with the contacts of current board members; indeed, that is how she earned her position on Capitol Bank’s Board. Within the last few years, she received phone calls from a couple of members of the Capitol Bank Board asking about her legal practice and work in the community. Until earlier this year, when she learned that Capitol Bank was considering her for a Board position, she did not realize those calls were part of a lengthy vetting process; the Board members preparing their list of qualified candidates. Michelle commented that this experience confirmed for her that all types of networking and referral discussions could lead to a Board position.
Michelle asked Capitol Bank why she appealed to them as a board candidate. She was pleased to hear that they viewed her non-profit Board service as a real asset. Capitol Bank saw her community connections and experience working on a Board as major strengths. Indeed, in Capitol Bank’s press release announcing Michelle’s appointment, Ken Thompson, president and CEO of Capitol Bank, said: “Michelle’s experience as a business owner and 30 years of practicing law, along with her active leadership in our community, will provide invaluable insight to future strategic initiatives.”
When Michelle was considering the offer from Capitol Bank to join their Board, she asked a lot of questions about the responsibilities of Board members and the culture of the Board. She wanted to make sure it was the right fit for her, especially given that she would be the first woman to serve on the Board. Clearly, Capitol Bank demonstrated to Michelle that their priorities aligned with hers. She is looking forward to making tangible contributions to the present and future at Capitol Bank through her work on several committees, including the governance committee.
Michelle looks forward to connecting with other TEMPO Madison members, who are considering corporate or business board service, as well as those who are already serving. She wants to remind TEMPO Madison members to explore corporate and business board service for entities in and around Dane County. There are many boards seeking to fill vacancies and many TEMPO Madison members have the skills and experience necessary to be serious candidates.
TEMPO of Madison, Inc.16 N. Carroll St. Suite 800 Madison, WI 53703
Board of Directors
TEMPO Madison Foundation